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Chocolate Merlot Cake

   Recipe from Field of Cakes

Dark Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup cooled, strong coffee
1/2 cup Merlot
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, coffee, wine, buttermilk and oil.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour wet ingredients into the center.

 Blackberry Merlot Ganache
16 ounces good quality 65-70% dark chocolate (in 1/4 inch pieces or smaller)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup merlot
1/4 cup seedless blackberry preserves
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
Set chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
In small sauce pan heat cream to just about to boil (little bubbles coming up but not to a boil yet)
Pour immediately over the chocolate and shake the bowl to help the chocolate settle. Allow to rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the wine and blackberry preserves together till almost too hot to touch (I just used my microwave for about 45 seconds)
Pour into the chocolate mixture and whisk until very smooth. Add butter and whisk until completely blended.

Blackberry Merlot Buttercream
2 cups firm but room temperature blackberry merlot ganache
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1 stick salted butter (softened)
1/3 cup dutch cocoa, sifted
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (or more to suit your tastes) powdered sugar

In mixer set on medium speed, beat the ganache and butter until smooth and silky.
Turn the speed to low slowly add the cocoa, beat until smooth (about 2-4 minutes then
add cream, a little at a time. When fully incorporated bring speed up to high and beat
for 5-7 minutes. Turn speed back down to low and add powdered sugar by Tbsp., tasting
along the way. When it is sweet to your taste,  beat again at high speed for a good 5 minutes
to really break down any graininess that you might get from the powdered sugar.

Bring back down to low speed and beat for a while that way to get rid of air bubbles.



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